Awaken Body & Mind With Your Voice!
I was always one to shy away from chanting. It seemed weird to me and honestly, I didn’t really understand it. Saying “om” at the beginning and end of a yoga class was pretty much the extent of my comfort zone. And I had to admit, I liked how it felt. The sound vibrated throughout my body, waking up all my cells. I felt very present, totally in the moment, not thinking, just being aware. I felt connected with the other people in the class. I felt my chest and throat open up. There was something slightly magical about it, and when it was done in a group its power increased. Still, I felt awkward when asked to chant more prolonged mantras or verses in the rare yoga classes that included that practice. I didn’t understand or remember Sanskrit, and it just felt odd and artificial. My aversion toward chanting, I see now, was simply fear of the unknown or misunderstood.
In yoga teacher training I was exposed to much more chanting, and I realized its potential for transformation. I now use it as a tool to bring my awareness into the present moment, to bring all the cells of my body into resonance, to relax or energize, and to maintain happiness and stability. Here’s an easy chant that you can practice any time. I find during my commute to and from work is a great time to fit it in. Try it and see what changes you notice!
The most simple version, take a deep breath before each sound and chant the entire thing three times in a nice, clear voice, at whatever pitch/tone comes naturally – really let the sound resonate throughout your body:
Nnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnngggggggggggggggggggggg (a buzzing sound like a bee)
Add awareness of the following areas of your body once you’re comfortable with the chant. This is where the sound vibrates naturally:
Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhh (perineum, base of your spine, Muladhara/root chakra)
Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee (sacrum, reproductive organ area, Svadhisthana/sacral chakra)
Ooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo (solar plexus/naval area, Manipura chakra)
Iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii (heart area, Anahata chakra)
Auuuuuuuuuuuuuummmmmmmmmmmmmmm (om) (throat area and then rising up to your third eye, between the eyebrows – Vishudda & Ajna chakras)
Nnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnngggggggggggggggggggggg (a buzzing sound like a bee) (crown of your head – Sahasrara chakra)